More than 200 people attended the Climate Reality Project at UCF’s eco-fair Friday morning in the Student Union as part of Know Tomorrow’s nationwide Day of Action.
As part of the Day of Action — a student-led campaign to demand action on climate change — the event, which was held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., aimed to raise awareness about climate change and to educate students who attended.
The eco-fair featured 10 different campus environmental organizations, including IDEAS for UCF, Knights for Marine and Wildlife Conservation and the Body for Animal Rights Campaign.
Students received mock passports when they signed in, then visited the clubs tabling and got their passports stamped when they talked to people at each table. Those who filled their passports with stamps got to pick prizes like posters, reusable water bottles and food at a prize table.
“I think the setup of the event and the passport idea allowed everybody to actually learn something. It wasn’t just getting free stuff. That was really rewarding,” said Joanie Coker, field organizer for the Climate Reality Project at UCF.
Altogether, 208 people — more than double the number Coker expected — showed up to learn about climate change. Coker said that this turnout showed how universal the issue of climate change is, and some students in attendance agreed.
“I think it turned out really well. It’s better than what I expected and I love that people are enthusiastic when they come to the booths,” senior environmental studies major Marah Green said.
Climate Reality at UCF also got enough signatures on its petition, bringing the number of signatures to more than 1,400. The petition urges President Obama to make an aggressive agreement to cut carbon emissions at the Paris Climate Talks in December and encourages college students to get involved.
“Support for climate action is building around the world — but we can do very little without the millennial generation,” Climate Reality Project President and CEO Ken Berlin said in a press release. “Through this new effort, we hope to empower passionate millennials with the tools they need to help solve the climate crisis.”
A climate march — separate from Climate Reality at UCF — will take place Oct. 14 at 5:30 p.m.. The march will start outside Sen. Marco Rubio’s Orlando office — located at 201 S. Orange Ave. — and go around Lake Eola Park. Participants can bring climate change- related artwork and banners.
Allison Miehl is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.